Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Issues are Important to You in this Election?

If you think you don't know what McCain and Obama stand for, it is about time you found out. With only 5 weeks till the elections, get serious about what is important to you.

Here are links to two websites, one for each of the presidential candidates, which present what candidates believe and promise to do on the major issues of the day. There are too many choices facing the country today to make uninformed decisions or ones based on a single issue, hearsay, gossip or TV ads by political action committees, lobbyists, or general factotums.

Tomorrow, Sept. 19th, is the last day you can register to vote!
You can register to vote at the following locations:

Mobile County Courthouse
205 Government St.
Mobile, AL.
(251) 574-8586

Mobile Public Library
701 Government St.
Mobile, AL
(251) 438-7073

Tillman's Corner Office (West Mobile)
Cloverleaf Shopping
Mobile, AL
(251) 574-8552

You can also obtain voter registration forms from AmSouth Bank branches, Alabama Power, and or the Old Courthouse, 109 Government St., Room 116.

For more information, call (251) 574-8586.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This should have a huge disclaimer stating "world names for 26 countries--NOT INCLUDING the Middle East, China, Russia most of Africa and some other areas of the world." Sorry, most of the world population is not included. If you are of Western European heritage, however, it is kind of fun to see where your last name [surname] and other family names appear most often, that is, how many times per million inhabitants.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gov Docs Big Week

All week long our Government Documents department will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its inception as a Federal Depository Library. Join them

At 1:00 Paula Webb & Beverly Rossini and doing a presentation in Room 305 "Take Charge! Informed Health Decisions for Older Adults."

At 3:00 in the Library Auditorium, Mobile County Commission President, Stephen Nodine, will speak.

The rest of the schedule is here.

Established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) involves the acquisition, format conversion, and distribution of depository materials and the coordination of Federal depository libraries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

The mission of the FDLP is to disseminate information products from all three branches of the Government to over 1,250 libraries nationwide at no cost. Libraries that have been designated as Federal depositories maintain these information products as part of their existing collections and are responsible for assuring that the public has free access to the material provided by the FDLP.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What [Media] Librarians Do on their Day Off

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Every student, and even more emphatically, every faculty member at an institution of higher "learning"--not just at elite institutions--should be required to read this essay.

"The Disadvantages of an Elite Education"
By William Deresiewicz
in the current issue of American Scholar

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Evaluating Webpages

I've been terribly negligent about keeping this blog up-to-date. One excuse is my schedule of teaching classes on how to use the library. One of the concepts I would like to include in each class, but seldom have time for, is how to evaluate the reliability of a webpage. Because it is sooo easy to use Google, one tends to ignore the constant warnings from faculty about webpages and their provenance.

Here's a webpage I've developed over the past few years providing some questions you need to ask yourself before including a webpage from the "public" Internet in your bibliography. I need to do one on Wikipedia too. My advice about using Wikipedia is to always read the info under the tab "Discussion" before using an article. It often contains some of the most amazing arguments about what's true and what's unknown and what is pure bs. Much more fun than the articles themselves--sometimes providing insight into how "information" is often a social construct.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Library Newsletter

It happened again. You'd think I would learn. I sent out a mass mailing announcing the latest library newsletter in which the links to it didn't work. I don't know if the issue is Mac/PC related. I do know that it is stupid to do an email to the whole university if you haven't checked the links on another computer.

Anyway here is a link to the newsletter. I hope it works online better than in email.
Fall 2008 University Library Newsletter